The United States Marine Corps are made up of some of the most elite military members in the world, living up to the high standard of what it means to be a Marine. While being a Marine takes pride and determination, there are many benefits that come with the job. A regular salary and allowances are just some of the guaranteed benefits that each Marine will receive once they complete training.
Pay and Benefits for Marines
In order to become a member of the US Marine Corps, you must meet the various guidelines that are set including age, education, physical tests, and aptitude tests among other requirements. Once a Marine enters boot camp, he or she is eligible to begin to receive a basic monthly pay. This pay is based on rank and length of service. But it doesn’t stop there.
Joining the U.S. Marine Corps allows each Marine to receive the following:
- Competitive salary
- Military housing or a housing allowance
- Food allowance
- Medical care for Marines and their families
- Education benefits
- Retirement plans
- Affordable life insurance
Those joining the military with an education or special skills may be eligible to start their salaries at a higher pay grade, and some may be eligible to join the US Marine Corps as an officer. It is always important to check with a recruiter to verify current information and requirements before signing the enlistment contract.
The higher the rank and length of service, the more money Marines earn each month. Some pay and promotions can also depend on specific job training or education, while entry-level enlistment personnel can typically earn promotions based on job performance. All military salaries are based on the same pay scale, regardless of which branch the servicemember is in. Here is the most current military pay chart.
Active duty Marines are given the opportunity to live in on-base housing if it is available. Otherwise, they will be eligible to receive BAH, or a Basic Allowance for Housing. Marines are also eligible to receive a food allowance called Basic Allowance for Subsistance, or BAS. Some Marines who live in on-base housing may receive dining hall access instead of BAS.
Medical care is an important benefit given to all active duty Marines. There is no cost for medical care through TRICARE, the military health care provider. Most medical care is given on base, but some procedures are provided off base. Qualified dependents are also eligible for TRICARE coverage. Be sure to learn more about dependent care coverage eligibility before joining.
There are a variety of education benefits for Marines, including advanced technical and on the job training, leadership training, tuition assistance to pay for college courses or certification programs, and the Montgomery GI Bill or Post-9/11 GI Bill for taking college classes or certification programs during or after military service.
The military retirement plan is one of the most valuable retirement plans in the world, offering a pension worth up to 50% of base pay after serving 20 consecutive years on active duty. The pension starts the month after reaching retirement eligibility, making it possible to begin receiving a pension before age 40. In addition to the pension, military retirees can receive TRICARE benefits for the rest of their lives for themselves and eligible dependents. Health care benefits in retirement are one of the most valuable benefits once can receive.
Marines are also eligible to receive affordable group life insurance through the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI). US Marine Corps members can also apply for Veterans Group Life Insurance Benefits (VGLI) after leaving the service. These are group life insurance programs, which are often less expensive than an individual life insurance policy.
Aside from the basic pay, there are numerous allowances or bonuses that each member of the Armed Forces can obtain. Some special incentives or bonus payments include:
- Flight Pay
- Sea Pay
- Hazardous Duty Pay
- Proficiency Pay
- Education training and compensation
- Family Separation Allowances
- Overseas Housing Allowances
Careers in the US Marine Corps
The USMC offers a variety of high tech and low tech careers, including jobs in infantry, special forces, aviation, vehicle maintenance, electronics, communications, mechanical, clerical jobs, and more. The career and training opportunities are endless, and many of the jobs will give you advanced skills and training you can take with you to your civilian career after you leave the service.